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专栏 - 向Anne提问

高薪挽留跳槽者是步险棋

Anne Fisher 2014年05月21日

Anne Fisher为《财富》杂志《向Anne提问》的专栏作者,这个职场专栏始于1996年,帮助读者适应经济的兴衰起落、行业转换,以及工作中面临的各种困惑。
要想挽留准备另谋高就的明星员工,开出和对手相当的薪水福利似乎是不二之选,但实际上这么做颇有风险。

    亲爱的安妮:我很想知道您和读者们对开出比竞争对手更高的待遇挽留优秀员工这个现象怎么看。上周我参加了一个部门主管会议(包括我在内一共六个人),一些主管说有几个团队核心成员拿到了我们竞争对手开出的工作条件。除了薪水更高之外,这些公司还提供免费健身会员卡之类的福利,以及更长的带薪假期。

    于是大家的话题自然就转到我们是否能够或是将要拿出对等的待遇来,至少有一个人倾向于这么做。但这真的明智吗?我颇为怀疑,因为多年前我就在一家公司接受了一次出价更高的挽留,结果事与愿违,我最后只能离职。您怎么看呢?—H.B.

    亲爱的H.B.:当招聘开始进入旺季后,是否提供及接受高薪挽留的各种决策也开始大幅增加。上个月由人力资源公司创新集团(The Creative Group)发布的一份调研发现,现在营销和广告界约有20%的高管同意开出比去年更多的高薪,主要是为了避免拥有出众技能的雇员流失,仅有5%的高管表示拒绝开出留人的高薪。

    这类挽留高薪的最大缺点在于,它们往往是长期问题的暂时解决方案。创新集团常务董事黛安•杜美稚称:“很多公司现在愿意拿出所有手段来留住优秀员工。而接受挽留待遇的人可能短期内会觉得自己很有价值。麻烦在于,那些除了钱以外的导致员工想离职的问题以后还是会再冒出来。”

    她建议,在开出和竞争对手势均力敌的条件前先考虑如下四个问题:

     1. 挽留高薪能解决真正的问题吗?有时候更高薪水是明星员工想要换工作的唯一原因,但更多时候它并非主因。对于单调乏味的工作、和上司相处不好、缺乏清晰的职业路径,或其他问题(各种长期积累起来的问题),光靠砸钱是解决不了的。

    2.开出这种条件是一种下意识反应吗?杜美稚称,面临团队某位重要成员即将流失的现实,很多经理都会抓狂。对此她的建议是,放松点,深呼吸,再问问自己,“你是因为这位员工创造的价值而想留住他(她),还只是因为怕自己的团队陷入困境才想挽留他(她)?”

    3. 这么做会树立一个你今后没法承受的先例吗?小道消息总是传得很快。杜美稚称:“你如果现在开出这种条件,那其他不安分的员工今后肯定也会想要得到同样待遇。如果某个员工因为新找了工作而获得大幅加薪,那就可能会搞乱公司整个薪酬体系。”

    4. 这么做会对团队产生什么影响?杜美稚表示:“你挽留了一个人,最后却会让其他人满腹怨气、士气低落。对于额外假期这种明摆着的福利,尤其会产生这种情况。同事之间可能并不了解彼此的薪水,但如果某人有了四周而不是两周假期的话,那大家就都会看在眼里了。”

    针对这种情况,就像其他许多事情一样,预防就是最好的治疗。杜美稚表示:“和最有价值的员工探讨未来与公司共成长这一话题的时机绝不是在他们已经决定离职时。现在在那些离职率最低的公司里,经理们经常会和他们不希望其流失的员工谈话。”

    她进一步表示,如果早有准备继任计划也会很有帮助,“人们总是会换工作的,那么如果最佳团队成员离职了怎么办呢?所以必须提前准备,培养一些能够挑大梁的员工。”

    

    Dear Annie:I'm curious to hear what you and your readers think about using counteroffers to retain talented employees. Last week, I was in a meeting of department heads (six of us, including me), and a couple of people mentioned that key team members have gotten great job offers from our competitors. On top of bigger salaries, these other companies are throwing in things like free gym memberships, not to mention substantially more vacation time than we currently offer.

    So, naturally, the conversation turned to whether we could, or would, match these offers, and at least one person seemed inclined to do so. But is that really smart? I have my doubts, partly because I accepted a counteroffer for more money, some years ago at a different company, and it sort of backfired on me, so I ended up leaving anyway. Your opinion, please? -- Holding Back

    Dear H.B.:With hiring picking up, it follows that decisions about making, and accepting, counteroffers are on the rise too. A survey last month by staffing firm The Creative Group, for instance, found that about 20% of marketing and advertising executives are agreeing to match more outside offers than last year, mainly to avoid losing employees with hard-to-find skills, while just 5% said counteroffers have declined.

    The biggest drawback to counteroffers is that they're often a temporary solution to a long-term problem. "Many companies are willing to pull out all the stops to retain their best people," observes Creative Group executive director Diane Domeyer. "And the employee who accepts a counteroffer may feel valued in the short term. The trouble is, the issues, beyond money, that are prompting the person to think about leaving usually crop up again later."

    She recommends considering these four questions before matching a competitor's offer:

     1. Will a counteroffer address the real problem?Sometimes higher pay is the only reason a star employee wants to change jobs, but more often it isn't. Boredom, lack of chemistry with a boss, no clear career path, or some other issue (or combination of issues) won't be resolved by throwing money at them.

     2. Is it a knee-jerk reaction?Domeyer notes that, faced with losing an essential team member, many managers panic. She recommends slowing down, taking a deep breath, and asking yourself, "Are you asking this employee to stay because of the value he or she brings to the role, or only so that your team won't be left in the lurch?"

    3. Will it set a precedent you can't afford?Word gets around. "Make a counteroffer today, and you can be sure other restless employees will expect similar treatment in the future," Domeyer says. "If one employee gets a significant raise purely because of another job offer, it could upset your whole pay scale."

    4. What impact will it have on the team?"What you gain by trying to appease one person can cause resentment and low morale among the rest of your staff," Domeyer says. That's especially true of conspicuous perks like extra vacation time. People who work together may not know each other's salaries, but they do notice when someone takes, say, four weeks off instead of two.

    In this as in so much else, the best cure is prevention. "The time to talk with your most valued employees about their future with you is not when they've already decided to quit," Domeyer says. "Companies with the highest retention rates now are the ones where managers are having frequent conversations with the people they don't want to lose."

    It helps to have succession plans in place too, she adds: "People do change jobs, so what if your best team member does quit? You need to be ready and train someone who can step into that person's role."

    

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